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reporting. >>> well, elsewhere, despite american objections, the united nations general assembly voted to recognize palestine as a non-member state. palestinians celebrated, but the u.s. says it is an obstacle to peace talks. nbc's danielle lee joins us with those details. danielle, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, lynn. it's a bit of a loss for the u.s. and israel. the peer is that yesterday's vote will make palestine less likely to negotiate a peace agreement with israel moving forward. yesterday the united nations overwhelmingly voted to upgrade palestine's status to a non-member state and that could allow them to go after israel in criminal court which could delay or complicate peace talks in an effort towards forming two independent states of palestine and israel moving forward. u.n. ambassador susan rice called the vote a setback. the u.s. had threatened funding in the west bank in the hopes of preventing it. now rice says that the only way to truly form an independent palestinian state is through direct negotiations with israel. she says that is something the u.s.
on during a news conference. >> susan rice has done a great job as our ambassador to the united nations and, of course, this decision about my successor is up to the president, but i'm very happy he has the opportunity with a second term to make a decision. >> but on capitol hill tennessee republican senator bob corker spoke with rice wednesday and later warned the president that the job of secretary of state is held at a higher standard than his other appointees. >>> elsewhere, later today, "time" magazine will release a provocative exclusive. the magazine calls egyptian president mohammed morsi the most important man in the middle east. president morsi tells "time" that although he's been in office only five months, he is promising a parliament and elections in the next coming two months. today, morsi faces unprecedented strikes by the courts as well as massive protests after he granted himself near absolute power while he prepares for a nationwide address stressing unity. >>> last night, new yorkers celebrated the lighting of the world's most famous christmas tree. take a look. >> three,
job as our ambassador to the united nations. >> reporter: still, rice had to spend another day on capitol hill discussing benghazi with skeptical senate republicans. >> and realize that all of us here hold the secretary of state to a very different standard than most cabinet members. >> reporter: well, white house aides insist president obama is yet to make a decision between susan rice or massachusetts senator john kerry as his replacement for secretary of state hillary clinton. at this point, aides say to me that the president knows he can't let this linger much longer, can't leave rice or kerry hanging in the wind. expect an announcement perhaps by early next weeks. >> chuck todd at the white house, thank you very much. >>> we want to turn and get a check of the day's other top stories. natalie morales over at the news desk. good morning. >> good morning, everyone. >>> ex-cia chief general david petraeus spoke out about his affair with biographer paula broadwell in a letter to his colleague james shelton nbc news has learned this morning. in the november 20th note, petraeus
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